Cannon Air Force Base (Cannon AFB) is located in the High Plains physiographic region of east-central New Mexico, about 5 miles west of Clovis, New Mexico. The area surrounding Cannon AFB is primarily used for agriculture, including irrigated cropland and dairies. The Southern High Plains aquifer is the principal source of water for Cannon AFB, for the nearby town of Clovis, and for local agriculture and dairies. The Southern High Plains aquifer in the vicinity of Cannon AFB consists of three subsurface geological formations: the Chinle Formation of Triassic age, the Ogallala Formation of Tertiary age, and the Blackwater Draw Formation of Quaternary age. The Ogallala Formation is the main water-yielding formation of the Southern High Plains aquifer. Groundwater-supplied, center-pivot irrigation dominates pumping from the Southern High Plains aquifer in the area surrounding Cannon AFB, where the irrigation season typically extends from early March through October. The U.S. Geological Survey has been monitoring groundwater levels in the vicinity of Cannon AFB since 1954 and has developed general potentiometric-surface maps that show groundwater flow from northwest to southeast in the study area. While previous potentiometric-surface maps show the general direction of groundwater flow, a denser well network is needed to show details of groundwater flow at a local scale. Groundwater levels were measured in 93 wells during summer 2013 and 100 wells during winter 2015.
The summer and winter potentiometric-surface maps display the presence of what is interpreted to be a groundwater trough trending from the northwest to the southeast through the study area. This groundwater trough may be the hydraulic expression of a Tertiary-age paleochannel. Groundwater north of the trough flows in a southerly direction into the trough, and groundwater south of the trough flows in an easterly direction into the trough.
During the 18-month period between summer 2013 and winter 2015, changes in groundwater levels ranged from a rise of 10.0 to a decline of 3.8 feet. The regions to the north and south of the groundwater trough contained the majority of the rises in groundwater levels, whereas the regions within the trough contained the majority of the declines in groundwater levels. In contrast, the long-term groundwater-level trend in wells with 20 to 60 years of record is a steady decline in average annual water levels, with declines ranging from 0.41 to 2.81 feet per year. Overall, the northwestern part of the study area exhibits the smallest average annual declines, while the southeastern part of the study area exhibits the largest average annual declines.
|Title||Potentiometric surfaces, summer 2013 and winter 2015, and select hydrographs for the Southern High Plains aquifer, Cannon Air Force Base, Curry County, New Mexico|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Scientific Investigations Map|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||New Mexico Water Science Center|